Technology has exposed how lazy humans are. Want to go to the store? Take a cab. Hungry? Let’s order food. Heck, we’re even at a time when we can attend classes from the comfort of our beds. Don’t get me wrong, all these are great. They make life way better.
But at the same time, they reduce our mobility, making us physically weak and prone to injuries. Mobility is all about maintaining strength in the muscles and stability in the joints. And here are 5 things you can do for better mobility.
Before You Start
Before anything else, here are a few things you should remember.
- Most of these exercises don’t require you to go to the gym. You can easily get yourself exercise equipment and engage them while at home.
- Perform as many different exercises as you can to improve your mobility. The more (and longer) you do them, the better.
- Know your limitations. Pay attention to your movements and note those workouts that address your limitations.
Now, you are ready. Let’s go.
Start a Stretching Routine
It’s totally okay if your daily routine incorporates long hours of sitting down. Take one-hour breaks to stretch things out. The best part about stretching is that you don’t need to spend hours on it for actual results. A few minutes is all it takes.
Another thing, there is no specific time for when you need to be stretching. If you’re a night owl, do it before retiring to bed. And if you are an early bird, even better. Strike a few poses as your coffee is getting ready.
Benefits of Stretching for Better Mobility
When you stretch, you loosen your muscles and increase your range of motion. Here’s what you gain by doing that:
- You improve your flexibility, making it easier to perform everyday exercises and activities.
- When you are flexible, you are less likely to incur muscle injuries. You reduce muscle tension and soreness, which is incredibly important for those who spend most of their time seated.
- It helps reduce stress and anxiety. The exercise has a calming effect on your mind and body, releasing all the hormones causing stress.
- Lastly, it improves blood circulation in your body.
Types of Stretches
There are two types of stretches; dynamic stretch, where you are moving, and static stretch, where you are still. An optimal routine should incorporate both dynamic and static stretches.
It’s normal to be mildly uncomfortable when starting out. So don’t fret; it will go away. But under no circumstance should it be painful. An excellent way to avoid this is to have a warm-up session to kickstart things.
Here are a few stretch workouts to try out. Each should typically last between 10 to 30 seconds.
- Stand upright.
- Have your left foot on the ground. For the left foot, raise the heel while the toes remain on the ground. This puts pressure on the toes.
- Roll your right foot in a clockwise direction 10 times and repeat it anti-clockwise.
- Repeat the process with the left foot.
- Stand upright with your arms loose and feet shoulder-width apart.
- Slightly dip your chin towards the chest.
- Slowly roll your head clockwise for one rotation. Wait for about 5 seconds and roll it again in an anti-clockwise direction.
- Repeat this 3 times.
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Incorporate Strength Training
What’s the point of a workout if it doesn’t help you get stronger? Your muscle mass diminishes with age. Use it or lose it, isn’t that the saying.
Benefits of Strength Training for Better Mobility
- The exercises increase your muscle mass and strength. You become stronger with an improved physical appearance.
- Helps you have better balance and coordination. This, in turn, helps reduce the risk of injuries.
- Your metabolism increases, and you are likely to burn more calories a day, even without exercising.
- Improved bone density.
Types of Strength Training
There are main types of strength training, but here are the main three:
You know bodybuilders. Those massive gymnasts with muscles bigger than anything you’ve ever seen. Their workouts focus on manipulating body composition and building muscles. It’s normally a combination of accessory work and compound exercises.
Bodybuilding workouts consist of resistance training, squats, bench presses, and deadlifts. You can also focus on specific muscles through curls, planks, and pull-ups.
Brute Strength Powerlifting
It’s brutal, it’s heavy, but it’s important for building weight. Strength powerlifting aims at moving as much weight as possible. It is more intense than bodybuilding.
Circuit training involves lifting less weight than the first two options but is high on the reps. A circuit exercise is basically five to ten exercises that complete one circuit and are done back to back.
For instance, a circuit can consist of push-ups, curls, squats, lunges, and sit-ups. Almost anything can be made into circuit training.
Increase Aerobic Activity
Now to the fun part. Aerobics, cardio, endurance exercise, or whatever you prefer calling it is any activity that helps keep your breathing and heart rate in check. That means swimming, running, cycling, and even brisk walking.
Benefits of Aerobics for Better Mobility
Cardio exercises help control the amount of oxygen that makes it into your muscles and, in turn, help burn more fuel. Here are a few benefits of the exercise.
- Decreases the risk of heart disease.
- Helps lower your blood pressure.
- Increases good cholesterol in your body.
- A good friend in your weight loss journey.
- Manages blood sugar levels in the body.
Types of Aerobics
According to the American Department of Health and Human Services, you should spare around 30 minutes, 5 to 7 days a week, for some form of cardio. The best part is that there are so many cardio exercises to partake in that there’s something for everyone.
You can even take things a notch higher and go to the gym for an elliptical or stationary bike. Cardio kickboxing and Zumba are also excellent alternatives.
Practice Balance Exercises
As the name suggests, balance exercises help you maintain your balance and, possibly, confidence. Of course, any activity that has you on your feet and moving improves your balance. But there are specific exercises that enhance your balance.
These exercises are for everyone, from kids to seniors and athletes. And they can be slightly modified to suit different needs. But before looking at how this is done, here are a few benefits of the exercise.
Benefits of Balance Exercises for Better Mobility
- Focusing on your balance has been revealed to help you focus on your thoughts and clear your mind. It is an excellent stress reliever.
- It increases your strength and coordination and allows you to move steadily and freely.
- Enhances flexibility, mobility, and stability and makes it easier to perform daily tasks.
- Helps improve one’s athletic performance.
Types of Balance Exercises
These balance exercises can easily be done from the comfort of your home.
- Stand upright with your hands akimbo (on your waist).
- Rise on your tiptoes and hold for 10 seconds.
- Lower back and repeat the process.
Single Knee Lift
- Stand upright with your hands akimbo (on your waist).
- Raise one knee up towards your chest.
- Hold for 10 seconds and lower it back down.
- Repeat with the other knee.
You will need a stability ball for this exercise. By the way, simply sitting on a stability ball can help you with balance (see image below)
- Be in a plank position with your forearms and elbows on the stability ball.
- Engage your quadriceps, glutes, and core to have a proper alignment.
- Align your hips and shoulders till they are square to the floor.
- Remain in this position for up to 3 seconds.
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The stability ball is a good place to start if you’re looking for something to help you out with your stability exercises. You can also try out the stretching cage for a total stretch and better balance.
Use Support When You Need It
All these exercises are good for your body, provided you perform them correctly and safely. More emphasis on safety here. If you are a beginner, having a trainer monitor is advisable to help you out.
But even when you are alone, there are accessories that will help make you safe. These are especially important for strength training.
Benefits of Using Support
The biggest benefit of support accessories when working out is that they prevent you from dying. They make sure you walk out of the gym alive. Worn out but alive. Aside from that, support tools are also useful in the following ways:
- They give you better control of your workout and help avoid injuries.
- Accessories like belts and knee sleeves support your knees and lower back during heavy lifting exercises.
- Provide additional padding to your hands and prevent blisters and calluses.
Types of Support for Better Mobility
As you probably know, gloves will provide you with a firm grip when working out. They also prevent calluses from forming. Gloves are not only essential for strength training but also for exercises like cycling and rowing.
Magnesium is the ‘white stuff’ you see people apply on their hands before lifting weights. Like gloves, magnesium helps provide you with a firm grip whenever your hands become sweaty. They’re normally in liquid or powder form.
Wrist wraps are a must-have for bench presses and dumbbell workouts. Your wrist will endure a lot during these exercises, and these wraps help relieve this strain. They help keep your wrists in position and provide a balanced power transfer.
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I’m really emphasizing getting yourself a support accessory when working out, even when it’s not for strength training. The walkers in this list are an excellent place to start. Don’t forget to enter the code at the checkout.
They may not be fun at first, but mobility exercises are an excellent way of getting you through your day. They help in blood circulation, help you to focus and relieve stress, build your mass strength, and, most importantly, improve your fitness.
Remember, less social media, more workout.